The White Sox finally tested their own patience Tuesday night. It paid off.
The Sox entered the game with 18 walks on the season, far and away the fewest in baseball. Oakland, conversely, was No. 1 with 60 walks.
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Before the game, manager Robin Ventura stressed a more patient approach, and his players came through when it mattered most in a 4-3 win at Toronto.
After Paul Konerko eschewed a free pass leading off the seventh inning and homered on a 3-0 fastball off Blue Jays starter Josh Johnson to tie the game at 2-2, White Sox hitters remained selective in the decisive ninth inning.
The Sox drew three walks earlier in the game, and Adam Dunn led off the ninth with a walk against Jays reliever Steve Delabar and was lifted for pinch-runner Dewayne Wise.
Konerko followed with another walk and after Conor Gilaspie went down on strikes, Dayan Viciedo came through with an RBI double to score Wise. Not known for his speed, Konerko scored from third base on Hector Gimenez's sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.
With two more games to play in Toronto, the Sox are 2-6 on a road tip that opened in Washington last week.
"This has been a road trip from (bleep) for us," Dunn told reporters. "We haven't been able to score any runs."
In his third start of the season, Dylan Axelrod kept the White Sox in the game, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings.
Hector Santiago and Matt Lindstrom were stellar in relief, and Addison Reed allowed 1 run on 2 hits in the ninth inning before converting his fifth save in as many chances.
"It was a gritty win," Konerko said. "It was a good win because we've played a lot of games that looked like that in this ballpark and they always seem to be losses."
After the game, the Sox sent reliever Deunte Heath back to Class AAA Charlotte. They'll add a position player before Wednesday night's game.
Away from the diamond:
As he continues his comeback from shoulder surgery, John Danks pitched 6 innings in extended spring training Monday and increased the velocity on his fastball to 89 mph, according to the White Sox.
"He threw fine," manager Robin Ventura told reporters. "It's a positive report. People that have seen him are having positive reports. He's just feeling stronger and it's probably coming out of his hand a little better."
Danks is scheduled to throw again in Arizona on Saturday, and Ventura said the left-hander is likely to rejoin the Sox for a few days after the outing.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham had surgery to repair his fractured left hamate bone Tuesday. He is shooting for a late May return.
Pitching coach Don Cooper has missed the entire road trip with diverticulitis, and he is expected to be back in the dugout Friday when the Sox return to U.S. Cellular Field for a 10-game homestand.
Herrmann battling cancer:
Ed Herrmann, a catcher with the White Sox from 1967-74, is battling cancer.
Herrmann's fight is being chronicled on Caringbridge.org by Team "SupHerrmann."
Now 66, Herrmann was initially diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 following routine testing. The cancer has since spread to his bladder and lymph nodes.